6,815 patent law firms have been representing PCT patent applications in 2015. 72% of those are located in only 5 countries: USA, Japan, South Korea, Germany, and China.
The distribution of patent attorneys across various countries should not be confused with the diagram of applications processed per country. However, as expected, there is a high positive correlation between the ranks in the two diagrams: In countries that serve a large part of the applications typically a large number of patent law firms can be found.
Overall, 6,815 patent law firms have been active in 2015. They are taken into consideration if they have represented at least 5 PCT applications (in total, not 2015 only). The USA (1,976) and Japan (1,190) are the only two countries with a four-digit number of patent law firms. They are followed by South Korea, Germany and China where 500 to 600 firms were active in the year 2015. Overall, already 72% of all patent law firms worldwide have their headquarters in one of these 5 countries. Places 6 to 10 are each at 2% or 3% of all patent law firms worldwide. Compared to the list of patent applications represented per country, only the Russian Federation is new to the top 10. In exchange, Australia has to vacate his seat.
In this overview, we counted each direct entry of a patent law firm in the patent documents. If a person (and not a law firm) is mentioned, this entry is only taken in consideration if no affiliated patent law firm could be identified in the address information. In this case, the analysis assumes that the person runs a single attorney firm, which in turn was counted as a patent law firm.